San Antonio marathon runners will travel through and experience the feel of campus life
by Susie P. Gonzalez
SAN ANTONIO - As many as 25,000 runners will enjoy the Trinity University experience during the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 17. A delegation of faculty, administrators, trustees, staff, and students will cheer on the runners, which will include at least 50 members of the Trinity community, as they pass through miles 5 and 6 on campus as part of the course.
The runners are expected to enter the Trinity leg of the course between 8 and 10 a.m. on race day. Before arriving, they will be greeted at the San Antonio Zoo with signs of "One mile to the Trinity experience" as they prepare to run up a hilly Stadium Drive next to Alamo Stadium and onward to the campus entrance near the Jesse H. Jones Recreation Area before moving westward to the Bell Athletic Center.
David Tuttle, associate vice president of Student Affairs and Dean of Students and a runner himself, said the goal of the Trinity participation is "to support the runners, to show off the University and the pride we have in our campus, and to be part of the San Antonio community."
Along the Trinity section of the marathon course, supporters will line up representing and holding signs as Admissions counselors and the Financial Aid Office, the Orientation Team, Trinity parents, the Trinity Stand Band, cheerleaders, the Tiger mascot, and various academic groups and faculty members plus the administration and members of the Board of Trustees. The concept is to welcome a runner as a Trinity student who experiences various aspects of the University, including a sign at the end that will say, "You have graduated from Trinity!"
"When you are a runner, anything that creates a memory for you can be special for your race day experience," Tuttle said. Entertainment, water stations, and restrooms will be on the route, as well. Tuttle will offer prizes for the most creative signs that supporters hold and is encouraging all those cheering along the route to wear Trinity T-shirts or maroon.
Mary Kay Cooper, senior director for Alumni Relations, has invited alumni to take part in a "cheer stop" at 540 King's Court and asked alumni to sign up to participate.
Three Trinity seniors will be running in their fourth Rock'n' Roll Marathon as students.
"Running the half marathon at the start of my first year at Trinity was one of the first times I truly felt a part of the Trinity community," said senior Leah Wesselman of Albuquerque, N.M., a math major who is focusing on elementary education. "Having the support to train and accomplish a half marathon was amazing but what was incredible was running in my maroon Trinity shirt and having random people on the sidelines on race day cheer for me because I was a part of Trinity."
Wesselman added that "having the race run through campus symbolizes not only how I have become a part of the Trinity community but how the Trinity community has become a part of me that will last past graduation. Maybe one day I will be on the sideline cheering on Trinity students as they run past me."
Katie Ogawa, a senior biology major from Albuquerque, N.M., said running in her first marathon provided a "jump start" to being involved in and building a sense of community with San Antonio and the campus. She said she is thrilled to run as a senior and to share the Trinity campus with 25,000 other runners. "I'm excited to see all the clubs and organizations out to support as well. What a wonderful culminating experience," Ogawa said.
Susie P. Gonzalez is director of public and media relations at Trinity University and can be reached at susie.gonzalez [at] trinity.edu